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Ahsoka Tano's Relationship With Obi-Wan Kenobi Explained

When Ahsoka Tano first emerged into the wide and wonderful world of "Star Wars," fans weren't sure what to make of the reckless young warrior. Over the course of many episodes, however, the character matures, as does her relationship with her master, Anakin Skywalker. This complex growth process won fans over big time, to the point that she has become one of the franchise's most beloved characters. 

But as much as fans love to discuss Ahsoka and Anakin's partnership, her relationship with her other mentor, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, often goes unmentioned. Though Anakin has long since ended his time as Obi-Wan's apprentice when Ahsoka arrives on the scene, the two men never really stop working together. The fact is, they make an excellent team, and the Clone Wars make such partnerships a necessity. Thus, wherever Anakin and Ahsoka travel, Obi-Wan typically goes too. Ultimately, Obi-Wan's impact on Ahsoka changes how she views being a Jedi forever. This is Ahsoka Tano and Obi-Wan Kenobi's complicated relationship, explained.

Obi-Wan and Ahsoka's pseudo-familial bond

One of the most interesting aspects of Obi-Wan and Ahsoka's relationship is the fact that he's basically her Jedi "grandfather." Jedi are trained one-on-one, passing their teachings from master to student over the course of generations. Because of this, for as much as the Skywalker saga focuses on the titular family, it is perhaps more accurate to describe it as following a specific generational line of Jedi that Ahsoka is proud to belong to. 

This Jedi legacy begins decades before the films, when Jedi Grand Master Yoda decides to train a young boy named Dooku. That boy grows up to train Qui-Gon Jinn, the Jedi Master who discovers a small child named Anakin Skywalker on the desert planet Tatooine. But because Jinn is killed by Darth Maul before he can train the boy, his former Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi takes Anakin on as his apprentice in his stead. 

Thus, when Obi-Wan and Anakin fight Count Dooku in "Attack of the Clones," they are, in a sense, fighting family. Jedi aren't meant to form attachments or know their biological relatives, and as a result, the relationships between master and apprentice are often the closest thing they have to parental bonds. Whenever Ahsoka is instructed in the ways of the Force, she is hearing the echoes of all the Jedi who came before her, whether she's hearing them directly from Obi-Wan or through Anakin. 

Ahsoka was supposed to be Obi-Wan's Padawan

Strangely enough, Ahsoka is originally meant to be Obi-Wan's second Padawan, not Anakin's first. Obi-Wan puts in a request for a new apprentice from the planet Christophsis shortly before the beginning of the 2008 animated film, "Star Wars: The Clone Wars." When Ahsoka arrives, Obi-Wan introduces himself as her new master before Ahsoka corrects him and announces that she's actually been assigned to Anakin. 

Though Obi-Wan seems surprised in the moment, a later scene between Obi-Wan and Yoda seems to indicate that this has been the duo's plan all along. That said, it's still interesting to wonder what their relationship as master and apprentice would have been like. Obi-Wan has plenty of opportunities to train and mentor the young Jedi throughout the Clone Wars, as he, Anakin, and Ahsoka travel and fight together more often than not. But the lingering possibility of what might have been lives on.

Obi-Wan is Ahsoka's commanding officer

Obi-Wan Kenobi mentors Ahsoka Tano in many different ways, but one of the most compelling is his position as her commanding officer. During the Clone Wars, the Jedi take on official military ranks in the Grand Army of the Republic that directly correspond to their ranks within the Jedi Order. Padawans are commanders, and both Jedi Knights and Jedi Masters are generals. Jedi Generals are typically placed in charge of entire legions of clone troopers, with their Padawans and high-ranking clone officers acting as chief lieutenants. 

The members of the Jedi High Council, however, are made High Jedi Generals who coordinate multiple legions at once. As a Jedi Council member, Obi-Wan Kenobi becomes the High Jedi General in charge of the 7th Sky Corps alongside Clone Marshal Commander CC-2224, aka "Cody." Anakin's clone legion, the famous 501st, is one of many legions under the 7th Sky Corps, and, as such, is under the overarching command of Obi-Wan. Though the two are no longer master and apprentice, Obi-Wan is still Anakin's commanding officer, which makes Obi-Wan responsible for Ahsoka as well. 

Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Ahsoka lead the Clone Wars series

Though "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" features a large cast of characters, Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Ahsoka Tano still manage to become the closest thing the series has to main characters. The three work closely together throughout the war, and any story that features one of them almost always features the other two as well.

"The Clone Wars" explores the journey the galaxy takes between the events of "Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones" and those of "Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith." Since the prequel trilogy tells the story of Anakin's rise and fall, and because Ahsoka is the most important new character the show introduces, it's only natural that the three Jedi become the show's lead characters. The movie that kicks the show's story off begins with the three's first meeting, while the last story of the series' ending season begins with their final encounter, before Order 66 changes everything. 

Obi-Wan basically helps Anakin raise Ahsoka

Though this might seem like an unorthodox way to put it, Obi-Wan basically helps Anakin raise Ahsoka. Over the course of the war, the three of them work together on many different missions. This is a time of tremendous growth for Ahsoka, which Obi-Wan is almost entirely present for. As happens in a multi-generational household — especially one going through something as intense as war — Obi-Wan helps guide Anakin as he trains Ahsoka and learns how to be a teacher. Likewise, Ahsoka often looks to Obi-Wan for guidance as she learns to navigate the universe at large and her master's unique tendencies. 

The two Jedi teach Ahsoka how to be the best person, Jedi, leader, and soldier that she can be. She keeps those teachings with her as she rebels against the Empire long after the Clone Wars come to an end. Ahsoka comes to regard Obi-Wan and Anakin as one does their parents. For all intents and purposes, they are.

Ahsoka balances Anakin and Obi-Wan's extremes

While Obi-Wan is patient, humble, and forward-thinking, Anakin is impulsive, overconfident, and eager to rush into danger. The fact that they come to balance each other out is a large part of what makes them such an incredible team. Anakin's forthright nature combats Obi-Wan's tendency to hesitate. Likewise, Obi-Wan reigns Anakin in when he goes too far. It's no surprise, then, that Ahsoka, a student of both Jedi, comes to embody the balance between them. 

When she first begins as Anakin's Padawan, Ahsoka is arrogant and quick to jump the gun. Because she's intelligent and competent, she's also often right, which fuels her recklessness. Eventually, a series of mistakes teach her humility. In this sense, she's quite similar to her master. But by the time the Clone Wars finally end, she develops a patience strongly reminiscent of Obi-Wan's. This results in a best-of-both-worlds balance: Like Anakin, Ahsoka never hesitates to leap to someone's aid, but like Obi-Wan, she knows the value of slowing down to plan before deciding her next move.

Obi-Wan reveals Anakin's tragic past to Ahsoka

In Season 4's "Kidnapped," Anakin, Ahsoka, and Obi-Wan investigate the disappearance of a colony of Togrutas, Ahsoka's species. When they arrive, the trio discover that the entire colony has been taken by Zygerrian slavers. Anakin is furious, and though it's obvious to Ahsoka why her master finds slavery abhorrent, she doesn't understand his personal stake in the crime.

It's at this point that the audience realizes that Anakin has told Ahsoka nothing of his own history. So, when Ahsoka asks Obi-Wan about it after Anakin leaves, he tells her about her master's childhood in slavery. It's a fascinating scene, and it illustrates the trio's relationship well: When Anakin shuts her out, Ahsoka goes to Obi-Wan, who tells her what she needs to know while still respecting Anakin's desire for privacy. In response, Ahsoka promises to look after her master as they continue to search for the missing colonists. 

Obi-Wan betrays Ahsoka during her trial

In the final arc of "The Clone Wars" Season 5, Ahsoka is put through one of the worst experiences of her life: She is framed for bombing the Jedi Temple, even though she was in another part of the galaxy when it happened. Many Jedi do not believe her, and a warrant is placed for her arrest, forcing her to flee and attempt to clear her name on her own. 

When the Jedi finally catch her, they decide to put her on trial. But, at Supreme Chancellor Palpatine's request, the Jedi agree to have Ahsoka face court as a military officer and not a Jedi. Thus, Ahsoka finds herself before a Republic military tribunal. In order for Ahsoka to be judged by the Republic, she must first be expelled from the Jedi Order. Though Obi-Wan initially tries to stand up for Ahsoka, he ultimately relents and sides with the rest of the Council. Thus, by a near-unanimous vote, the Jedi Council casts Ahsoka out.

When Anakin finally clears her name, Ahsoka is invited to rejoin the order. But the sting of this betrayal still lingers, and she refuses. Ahsoka loves and trusts Obi-Wan, but when she needs him most, he does not have her back. 

Obi-Wan blames Ahsoka for leaving the Jedi Order

Anakin and Obi-Wan don't discuss Ahsoka's departure from the Jedi Order until Season 7. However, a canceled story arc called "Crystal Crisis on Utapau" was originally set to address her absence. The arc is still considered canon, and story reels of the unfinished episodes were eventually released on StarWars.com.

In the arc's second episode, "In Search of the Crystal," Anakin mentions Ahsoka for the first time since the incident, prompting a discussion with Obi-Wan as they set up camp for the night. Anakin tells his master how much he misses his former Padawan, and is obviously angry that she left the Order. But when Obi-Wan emphasizes that it was her decision to leave, Anakin responds, "Well, what choice did we give her?"

Anakin blames the Council for refusing to stand by Ahsoka in her time of need, but Obi-Wan disagrees. He blames Ahsoka, claiming she let "emotions cloud her judgement." Since that's against the Jedi code, it is thus her failure to act like a Jedi that caused her to leave. In taking this line of argument, Obi-Wan basically sidesteps the role he played in these events, and paints her leaving as some sort of childish tantrum, completely disregarding the legitimacy of her position.

Ahsoka believes Obi-Wan embodies the Jedi Order's flaws

Obi-Wan Kenobi seems like the definitive Jedi: He's humble, compassionate, and self-controlled. But Ahsoka comes to believe that Obi-Wan embodies the Jedi Order's flaws. During the war, the Jedi become dominated by politics, and transform from peacekeeping monks into generals of one of the galaxy's largest armies. This ultimately blinds them to the needs of the common man. 

When the Jedi Council exiles Ahsoka, they do so because of politics — they don't want the Senate to think they've lost their impartiality. Though there is wisdom in this, they fail to take any additional action to protect Ahsoka, or discover what truly happened. Instead, they abandon her, which forces her to rethink everything she once believed about the Order. 

This comes to a head in Season 7's "Old Friends Not Forgotten." When Ahsoka asks her old masters for help against Maul on Mandalore, they abandon her again to rush to the Battle of Coruscant. When she challenges their decision, Obi-Wan says that Coruscant's people need them. But Ahsoka rightly states that they're only going for the Chancellor: Once again, they're playing politics instead of helping people. It's the Jedis' duty to serve everybody, not just one man. In calling her old masters out, Ahsoka illustrates something she says in Season 3's "The Academy": "It's every citizen's duty to challenge their leaders, to keep them honest, and hold them accountable if they're not."

Ahsoka remembers Obi-Wan fondly

In E. K. Johnston's novel, "Star Wars: Ahsoka," readers join Ahsoka Tano a year after Order 66. At this point, the former Jedi is still alone and on the run from the Empire. She hasn't yet joined any rebellions, or even started to process all that she has lost. But when a new acquaintance asks her about her past, she claims to be an orphan who was "adopted." 

Obviously, she's hiding the truth of her past as a Jedi who was raised in the Jedi Temple. But throughout the exchange, she refers to Anakin and Obi-Wan as her adoptive parents, and smiles fondly as she remembers how they constantly bickered "like an old married couple." Despite how strained and broken their relationship has become by this point, Ahsoka still chooses to remember Obi-Wan with warmth and love, and accepts how important he is to her, flaws and all. 

Ahsoka and Obi-Wan never learn they both survived Order 66

Ahsoka mourns Obi-Wan following the bloody rampage of Order 66, which is made all the more tragic by the fact that Obi-Wan isn't actually dead. Unbeknownst to either character, they both survive the Great Jedi Purge and go on to oppose the Empire in their own ways. Only Bail Organa and Yoda know that Obi-Wan goes into hiding on the planet Tatooine to protect his former pupil's son, Luke. But even though Ahsoka eventually joins forces with Bail Organa and works closely with him in forming the Rebellion, he never reveals Obi-Wan's fate. The existence of Anakin's children is simply too important to risk telling anybody, even Ahsoka. 

Likewise, Obi-Wan is purposefully out of contact with the rest of the galaxy, which means nobody can tell him about Ahsoka. When he leaves Tatooine with Luke aboard the Millennium Falcon, everybody believes Ahsoka is dead. By the time anyone knows that wasn't true, Obi-Wan has been killed by his own apprentice, now known as the fearsome Darth Vader.